It is that time of year when we’d usually be getting our wardrobes and camping gear ready for a season of festivals. But it is going to look a little different for summer 2021.
There are a number of events and festivals we will be able to join virtually, or that are partially live and partially online. Others have been postponed.
Here's a flavour of what’s to come for festivals and events in the coming months.
This festival celebrates arts and creativity in Ireland. There are interviews, workshops, movie screenings, discussion series, group readings and talks held as part of it. The festival is run by Age & Opportunity, so it’s particularly geared towards getting older people involved in the arts. It’s a nice one that you could say participate in with a grandparent.
This year, the Mother Tongues Festival will be presented mostly online. They’ve managed to create a great, diverse programme of art workshops, film screenings, and other events available in over 20 different languages.
The festival celebrates the linguistic diversity and many languages spoken in the country. It looks at the diversity of the arts in Ireland and rich artistic and cultural tapestry in the country, it connects people through creative experiences.
There’s loads there for adults, kids and families from making dumplings to learning about equality and representation, Persian finger puppet workshops, Afro Brazilian dance, a Japanese puppet show and much more.
There will be 2 weeks of dance online as part of Dublin Dance festival. Dancers from around the world participate and you can connect through dance with your family or friends through their event, take part in workshops or interactive experiences, and there are dance documentaries too.
They did a great job going digital with the festival in the past too. If you’re a fan of dance in any shape or form, it’s really unmissable.
This festival celebrates the very best of Irish and international fiction and non-fiction authors, poets, lyricists, playwrights and screenwriters. They’ve got readings, conversations, debates, screenings, podcasts, broadcasts and more this year.
Some of the highlights include a conversation with Dermot O’Leary, and a workshop based around the best-selling children’s book While We Can’t Hug. There’s also a cinema book club quiz and, again, plenty of events for both adults and families.
While the main Glastonbury festival will not take place this year, as the organisers announced back at the beginning of this year, they have as an alternative this year "Glastonbury Festival Live at Worthy Farm".
It’s been described as a "spectacular five-hour global livestream from the magical home of Glastonbury Festival, Worthy Farm". There are some big, big artists supporting the Festival: Coldplay, Damon Albarn, HAIM, IDLES, Wolf Alice, plus DJ Honey Dijon, among unannounced surprise performances.
There is also a choice of full broadcasts across multiple time zones around the world so you can pick the most convenient for you. For Ireland, the broadcast times are 7pm on Saturday 22nd May and 2pm or 7pm on Sunday 23rd May.
Tickets are on sale now from worthyfarm.live and cost €23. Tickets are limited to one ticket per order.
Hay Festival is a literature and arts annual festival. It’s free, which is always a plus, and it’ll be hosting 250 events, so it's a big year for the festival.
Some authors and other celebrities who’ll be appearing including Jojo Moyes (author of 'Me Before You'), Colm Tóibín, Joe Wicks, Michael Sheen, Stanley Tucci, Paul Greengrass, David Walliams, and Caitlin Moran. There’ll be a panel discussion with the key creatives behind the BBC series 'His Dark Materials', plus a special event marking the launch of the Graham Norton Book Club podcast with Norton himself alongside Marian Keyes and Richard Osman, and loads more.
The festival will kick off on Friday 11 June, with Westport’s very own old-time band, The Clew Bay Critters. The local musicians will lead the way for a superb weekend of folk and bluegrass. Following the Critters, there will be a very special, all-female lineup from up-and-coming star Lorraine Nash from Kerry, whose debut EP, 'Wildflower', earned much critical acclaim. Nash also recently signed with FIFA Records. Find out more about the online line-up on their website.
Body and Soul have created a one-of-a-kind public art experience experience called A City & A Garden. It invites you to walk about the urban environments you know, but discovering a different kind of journey.
You’ll learn about stories through soundscapes in different urban and rural environments, for example, a Cork city street, or the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin.
Brand new stories for the project were created through a collaboration of writers, a sound designer and musical director, visual artists, developers and voice-over artists.
Taking place from 11-20 June, all you need is a smartphone, headphones, and your imagination. To find out more on that you’ll just need to follow one of Body and Soul’s social channels. You can also see updates on their website.
Cork Midsummer Festival have announced that they’re offering both digital events and in-person experiences for their 2021 Festival. There will be public artworks, installations and exhibitions established around the city as part of the festival; plus public readings, online performances, and digital experiences and more.
Here’s hoping this does go ahead live, especially given how outdoorsy its events have been in the past. They made Bloomsday work online last year in any case.
Taking place on the same day that James Joyce's 'Ulysses' takes place on, there are normally readings, performances, and other events that take place across the locations referenced in the books. Loads of people dress like characters from the book so it's just such a fun day out.
This festival founded in 2010 aims to foster and celebrate literary talent in Ireland. While the event is usually held in different indoor and outdoor venues in Dalkey, they’ve announced that it will be virtual for 2021.
The programme is not out just yet. But they said there will be three days of dynamic programming from June 18th to the 20th, connecting you to a community of writers, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and creative talent.
One for fans of classical music. The Virtual Programme of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival will include recordings from most of their originally scheduled 2021 artists filmed in locations around the world specifically for the Festival. They have yet to announce their full programme. You can keep an eye on westcorkmusic.ie to see future announcements and more on the artists you can expect.
Drogheda Arts Festival is back in 2021, with an exclusive programme of events, online, offsite and live over Summer 21. Kicking off on the June Bank Holiday Weekend, this marks their first installment of ONLINE AT Drogheda Arts Festival. There'll be original music from Tadhg Leahy + Friends; a performance from Maria Doyle Kennedy in the atmospheric setting of Gerrard’s Church; Operation S.P.I.E.S. by Tailtiu Theatre; plus interactive pieces, operas, game-theatre, artwork and more.
SOFFT Nights is a daughter of the Spirit of Folk Festival, and a level 2 Covid compliant one day festival experience in the heart of the Boyne Valley Co. Meath, Ireland Ancient East. The first SoFFt Nights ran twice in 2020. This year, they have events coming up in July, August and September with such acts as Pillow Queens and Soda Blonde. See their website for more info and updates.
The Galway International Arts Festival got postponed from this July to later in the year. Full programme details will be announced in June and will include a mix of both live and online events. The centrepiece of it will be the second part of John Gerrard’s stunning 'Mirror Pavilion - Leaf Work', opening in Derrigimlagh Bog.
All Together Now returns on the August Bank Holiday Weekend 2021 "for an unforgettable celebration of Togetherness, freedom, inspiration and escapism through music, spoken word, comedy, theatre, debate, art, workshops, wellness, and everything in between from feasts of food to bespoke cocktails all within walls of the beautiful Curraghmore Estate."
The 2020 Rose of Tralee festival was postponed to August of this year but further details have yet to be announced. They are currently accepting applications to be a Rose or Rose Escort this year on site.
Electric Picnic is scheduled to take place the first weekend of September in Bradbury Hall, Co. Laois. It's sold out for this year, and the organisers are making every effort to ensure it goes ahead safely.
This marks another postponed event. While last year was virtual, they're aiming for an in-person Hinterland this year.
Details for this year's Dublin Fringe have yet to announced. The annual event is "a curated, multi-disciplinary festival", that offers "fresh and innovative approaches to the arts from Irish and international makers."
This is something of an alternative festival event, which travels around the world, including to Ireland in late September. It also has virtual options this year. The two-day event screens award-winning films about cultural expeditions and inspirational characters.
Another festival that lovers of arts and culture can look forward to later in the year. Details are to be confirmed.
Keep an eye on entertainment.ie for more festival and event announcements.